Wayne Hayes was a young boy who broke into Roy's Rolls in December 2000 to steal food. He ran away before Roy Cropper could catch him. Wayne was later seen in the Builder's Yard by Roy, who invited him in for some food. Roy and his wife Hayley offered him a bath but when Roy phoned the police, Wayne overheard and tried to run away. Roy and Hayley talked to him and he said that he lived in a children's home, but that he had ran away from his mother's home where he was to spend Christmas. On Christmas Day, Hayley contacted his mother, Sheila, and her boyfriend Alex Swinton came to collect Wayne. Wayne showed his discomfort around his stepfather and Roy witnessed Alex hit him. Roy subsequently demanded that Wayne stay with them for the time being. Wayne, however, went back to the children's home and Roy and Hayley visited him and gave him a Christmas present. Soon afterwards, Wayne found Roy and told him he'd ran away again. When Roy and Hayley insisted he returned to the Home, he ran away from them, which left Roy annoyed because he felt like he'd betrayed Wayne. However, they managed to find him and convinced him to go back to the home.

Five months later in June 2001, Hayley bumped into Sheila and Wayne, and subsequently took them to Roy's Rolls for some lunch. When they left, Roy and Hayley became worried about him. Several hours later he returned and stayed the night, having claimed that Alex was beating him. Roy related to this as his own stepfather used to hit him growing up. He and Hayley decided that they must do something to protect Wayne. Despite this, Alex came to collect Wayne again the next day. Alex called round the cafe and told Roy and Hayley that they could have Wayne for £10,000, and when he lowered the price to £5,000, they accepted on the condition that no-one found out. Wayne moved in with them but soon after, his mother visited to return their money and take him back. Hayley suggested she take both her son and the money, so that they could make a fresh start away from Alex, but she refused. Wayne was worried about his mother and wanted to return home, but she decided he should stay with Roy and Hayley, realising they could offer him a stable home. When she visited him again, she had a cut on her lip. Wayne realised Alex had hit her and asked Roy and Hayley if she could move in with them, but they had to decline as they lacked room for her. Alex later turned up at the cafe and demanded £100 a week to keep Wayne.

Wayne befriended David Platt, who invited him on a camping trip in Derbyshire, but he decided not to go because he wet the bed. Wayne eventually went on the camping trip and Roy and Hayley came too. After finding out where Wayne was, Alex arrived at the campsite and cornered Wayne. Roy and Hayley refused to let him take Wayne and stole Martin Platt's car and drove off. They hid out at a hotel and Roy and Hayley ended up in the newspaper saying that they kidnapped a child. They then stayed with Hayley's friend Ruth Audsley, who suggested they leave the country. They decided not to, however, and handed themselves into the police. The police granted bail on condition that they had no contact with Wayne. Hayley refused and was held in custody, and Wayne returned to Sheila. Roy later tried to persuade Sheila to tell the police about Alex's treatment of her son, but she refused. After receiving another beating, however, she decided to go the police and tell them everything. Alex was arrested and Hayley released.

Wayne and Sheila returned for one final visit to Roy and Hayley on Christmas Eve 2001.

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